Friday, 30 August 2013

West Ham United vs Stoke City

Saturday 31st August
Boleyn Ground

West Ham United vs Stoke City

Two games into the Premier League season, and West Ham have only conceded one shot on target so far. Oddly, this might be the game in which that record comes most under threat.

Stoke City haven't traditionally been the most creative of sides on the Premier League, and, on the surface, the switch from Tony Pulis to Mark Hughes hasn't really made that much different to the clubs direct approach to the game.

However, Stoke have created 21 chances in their 2 league outings so far, meaning they are creating at a rate of 10.5 chances per game. Compare this to the meagre 280 (or 7.4 per game) last year, and you can see that there is already a more attacking impetus about Mark Hughes' Potters.

Possibly the biggest change though, is the style in which the side attack. I'm not talking about a switch from long ball to tika-taka, but the style of play has certainly changed. Like West Ham under Sam Allardyce, Tony Pulis favoured wing play and crosses to fashion chances. Last season, almost 45% of the sides chances created came from the flanks.

So far this season, however, there is an increased desire to attack through the middle. The image below shows where Stoke created their chances in their opening two games. Although this Stoke side is predominantly made up of the same players as last season (and the year before), it will definitely be a different experience to the Stoke of old.

That said, West Ham have been good at restricting their opponents to efforts from range over the past couple of years, a fact that has contributed greatly to our excellent defensive record.

If West Ham can restrict Stoke to chances from range this Saturday, it seems unlikely that the Potters will be able to break through the West Ham resistance.

The image below shows where Stoke scored their goals from last season. One Cameron Jerome strike aside, the Potters only managed to score goals from inside the 18 yard box last season.

Sam Allardyce said this week that if Jussi Jaaskelainen kept a clean sheet, he thought we'd win. Well, for West Ham to win this game, we'll need to get past one of the best centre back pairings in the league.

In our 1-0 victory at the Britannia last season, we were fortunate not to come up against Robert Huth and Ryan Shawcross. This weekend, we are unlikely to be as lucky.

Last year, Ryan Shawcross won 59% of his duels, although this figure is severely impacted by the fact that he commits far more fouls than he suffers. The image below shows Shawcross' duel success,

Huth though, managed to post an ever better 62% success, as highlighted below.

If we are to win this game, we will need a very strong performance from Modibo Maiga. He's been pretty mixed so far, winning duels in the air, but failing to threaten the scoresheet.

My prediction, is that we'll sneak a win through a midfield goal, but this is easily the toughest game we've had so far. 

 Head to Head 
41% Head to Head Win % 35%
36 Won 31
21 Drawn 21
31 Lost 36
128 Goals Scored 102
102 Goals Conceded 128

 Recent Form 
D L W W D W Last 6 D L D L W W
8 Goals Scored 8
5 Goals Conceded 7
W W D W W W Home/Away Form L L W D D L
13 Goals Scored 5
5 Goals Conceded 6
Form Player (All Comps)
Kevin Nolan - Charlie Adam
66.14 Last 6 -
5 Goals Scored 2
0 Assists 2
63.8 Season (League) -
35 Appearances 27
10 Goals 3
2 Assists 2
28 Chances Created 32
1018 Passes 759
801 Passes Completed 546
78.7% % Completed 71.9%

 Last Meeting 
04 May 2013
0-1 Jack Collison 45'

4-2-3-1 Starting Formation 4-4-2
 Starting XI 
Jussi Jääskeläinen - Asmir Begovic
Guy Demel - Ryan Shotton
James Collins - Marc Wilson
Winston Reid - Ryan Shawcross
Joey O'Brien - Andy Wilkinson
Gary O'Neil - Jonathan Walters
Mohamed Diamé - Glenn Whelan
Joe Cole - Steven N'Zonzi
Matthew Taylor - Michael Kightly
Matt Jarvis - Cameron Jerome
Andy Carroll - Peter Crouch

West Ham United: Joey O'Brien, Alou Diarra, Andy Carroll
Stoke City: Jamie Ness, Peter Crouch

West Ham United: n/a
Stoke City: n/a

  Opposition Last Time Out
vs Crystal Palace
 Goals Scored: 2
 Goals Conceded: 1
 Starting Formation: 4-1-4-1

  Asmir Begovic

  Geoff Cameron  Ryan Shawcross  Robert Huth  Erik Pieters

  Marc Wilson

  Jonathan Walters  Steven N'Zonzi  Charlie Adam  Matthew Etherington

  Peter Crouch

subs: Thomas Sorenson, Marc Muniesa, Andy Wilkinson, Glenn Whelan, Jermaine Pennant, Cameron Jerome, Kenwyne Jones

 Best Player: Ryan Shawcross
 CI Rating: 70.99
 Worst Player: Asmir Begovic
 CI Rating: 56.74
 Top 5's (min 5 apps) 
 Goals Scored 
Kevin Nolan 10 - 8 Jonathan Walters
Andy Carroll 7 - 7 Peter Crouch
Mark Noble 4 - 3 Charlie Adam
Ricardo Vâz Te 3 - 3 Kenwyne Jones
Mohamed Diamé 3 - 3 Cameron Jerome

Ricardo Vâz Te 4 - 4 Peter Crouch
Joey O'Brien 4 - 4 Glenn Whelan
Andy Carroll 4 - 3 Cameron Jerome
Mark Noble 3 - 2 Charlie Adam
Gary O'Neil 3 - 2 Kenwyne Jones

 Passing Accuracy 
Mohamed Diamé 84.1% - 93.3% Michael Owen
Mark Noble 82.6% - 83.8% Dean Whitehead
Joe Cole 80.5% - 82.1% Steven N'Zoni
George McCartney 79.8% - 81.9% Glenn Whelan
Joey O'Brien 79.2% - 81.4% Matthew Etherington

 Chances Created per game 
Mark Noble 1.5 - 1.2 Charlie Adam
Gary O'Neil 1.5 - 1.2 Glenn Whelan
Joe Cole 1.5 - 1 Matthew Etherington
Andy Carroll 1.4 - 1 Peter Crouch
Matt Jarvis 1.4 - 0.9 Jonathan Walters

 Successful Dribbles per game 
Mohamed Diamé 2 - 0.6 Geoff Cameron
Guy Demel 0.8 - 0.6 Matthew Etherington
Ricardo Vâz Te 0.7 - 0.5 Ryan Shotton
Matthew Jarvis 0.5 - 0.5 Jonathan Walters
Joey O'Brien 0.4 - 0.5 Michael Kightly

 Tackles per game 
Mark Noble 3.6 - 3.1 Marc Wilson
Mohamed Diamé 3.5 - 2.6 Ryan Shotton
James Collins 1.9 - 2.1 Andy Wilkinson
Winston Reid 1.8 - 2 Steven N'Zonzi
George McCartney 1.8 - 1.9 Robert Huth

 Aerial Duels Won per game 
Andy Carroll 9.3 - 8.3 Peter Crouch
Carlton Cole 3.9 - 4.5 Kenwyne Jones
James Collins 2.9 - 3.3 Jonathan Walters
James Tomkins 2.7 - 3.1 Steven N'Zonzi
Winston Reid 2.4 - 2.9 Robert Huth

Sam Allardyce - Mark Hughes
43.2% Current Club Win % 66.6%
42 Won 2
26 Drawn 0
29 Lost 1
40.2% Managerial Career Win % 39.5%
336 Won 152
225 Drawn 99
274 Lost 133

2 League Titles 0
0 Cup Wins 1

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